Post written by MARC GRAÑÉN – landscape artist.
I began using landscapes as art with the intention to bring nature to children. I realized that the only way to create change was through children. As they spend most of their time at school, that is where I had to start. This is how I began a wonderful project for Barcelona’s City Hall by creating edible green walls at the schoolyards to make them more beautiful.
Children create their own designs while using math, language and science without recognizing that they are learning. Even in the most deprived neighborhood schools, children care for the plants as the last of their daily priorities with joy, even though they are covered in mud, soil and leaves. Their smiling faces show an increased interest and need for those little green things, which are allowing new perspectives of what can become something really amazing. They discover how plants attract butterflies, bees and ladybugs. Lizards and even frogs come to their new edible greenwall, looking for a new shelter next to the birdhouses. The mint, lavender, thyme and curry leaves will let them experience new smells that they never before have experienced.
Children learn to take care of their vertical gardens and understand that these gardens really belong to them. I am hopeful that this is how they will care about nature in the future. The more they learn, the more they can teach us. I really don’t know how we can solve the huge problems that we have with pollution and our unsustainable model of life. The only thing I know for certain is that we need a real change and the only way I know is by giving our children the chance to imagine and create new solutions, being brave and trusting in themselves. Art through plants is one beginning.